Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study Predicts Large Regional Changes in Farmland Area

25.03.2011
The effects of climate change and population growth on agricultural land area vary from region to region, according to a new study by University of Illinois researchers.

Regions with relative high latitudes – China, Russia and the U.S. – could see a significant increase in arable land in coming years, but Africa, Europe and India and South America could lose land area.

Civil and environmental engineering professor Ximing Cai and graduate student Xiao Zhang published their findings in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

While most other studies of climate change and agriculture have focused on projected crop yields, the Illinois researchers assessed global and regional land availability. Using international land and climate datasets and remote-sensing land-use maps, they systematically studied worldwide changes in soil temperature and humidity with a resolution of one square kilometer.

"This study presents the main patterns and trends of the distribution of potential arable land and the possible impacts of climate change from a biophysical perspective," Cai said. "The possible gains and losses of arable land in various regions worldwide may generate tremendous impacts in the upcoming decades upon regional and global agricultural commodity production, demand and trade, as well as on the planning and development of agricultural and engineering infrastructures."

Cai and Zhang’s model allowed them to address the many sources of uncertainty in trying to predict climate change, such as levels of greenhouse gas emissions, climate model uncertainty and ambiguity in land-use classification. They applied the model to several projected scenarios to uncover both regional and global trends in land availability.

When considering effects of climate change, residential sprawl as population grows and natural conservation, the global total of potential arable land in all scenarios decreased by the end of the 21st century, by a margin of 0.8 to 4.4 percent. However, much larger changes were predicted regionally. For example, arable land area could increase by 37 to 67 percent in Russia, while Africa could lose up to 18 percent of its farmland.

"Although the magnitudes of the projected changes vary by scenario, the increasing or decreasing trends in arable land area are regionally consistent," Cai said.

Next, the researchers will conduct more detailed regional studies to confirm their global findings. They hope to use their projections to evaluate world food production, demand and trade, and the corresponding implications for policies and investments.

The Energy Bioscience Institute at the U. of I. and the U.S. Department of Agriculture supported this work.
-ea-
Editor’s note: To reach Ximing Cai, call (217) 333-4935; e-mail: xmcai@illinois.edu. The paper, "Climate Change Impacts on Global Agricultural Land Availability," is available online.

Liz Ahlberg | University of Illinois
Further information:
http://www.illinois.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>